Russell has no pride in the 4th-place finish despite outscoring Lewis.

George Russell’s ascension from Williams to Mercedes was a clear epitome of the young British driver’s excellence behind the wheel.

Following his tremendous performance in the 2021 F1 campaign, he replaced Valterri Bottas at Mercedes and went on to outscore teammate Lewis Hamilton in his rookie campaign.

Despite this, George Russell says he is on the grid to win races and the championship, not to gloat about finishing fourth in the championship.

Russell finished his first season with Mercedes just outside the podium and 35 points ahead of fellow driver Lewis Hamilton, who also secured the first F1 win of his career in Brazil.

The 24-year-old’s performance was praised by his team, which also stressed that it was achieved in a season marked by the difficulties and complexity of Mercedes’ W13.

The young man from King’s Lynn, however, doesn’t enter the winter break of Formula 1 with exaggerated complacency.

“If you’d told me at the start of the year that I’d be finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton [in the drivers’ standings], I’d have been very happy because nine times out of 10 that probably means you’re going to be world champion,” Russell told BBC Radio Norfolk.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that this year wasn’t that year. We were both fighting for P4, P5, P6 and we don’t want to be in this position, so I’m not going to walk away from this season with huge amounts of pride because I finished fourth in the championship. I’m here to win.

“It takes some time whenever you join a new team, regardless of who your teammate is, to embed yourself and gain that trust and confidence within the whole organisation,” the 24-year-old pointed out.

“It’s been a good journey for me, being teammates with him. He’s the greatest of all time so I’m in a very privileged position to go up directly alongside him but also learn from him.

“I’m really excited for 2023. I’m still going to be trying to improve my driving, what I do on and off track, and hopefully we’ve got the car beneath us to fight for the championship.”

Russell is certain that Mercedes engineers are using their collective knowledge of this year’s extraordinarily difficult season to develop a challenger for next year, even if hope isn’t a plan.

“They haven’t forgotten how to build a fast race car,” said Russell. “We just got it wrong this year.”

“We got the philosophy wrong. We went down a route which turned out to be the wrong route.

“Sometimes it takes you a long time to dig yourself out of that hole. Now I feel we’ve dug ourselves out of that hole and we’re building on top of that.

“We are a step behind Red Bull and Ferrari and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do – but we’re definitely going to be in a much stronger position from race one next year than we were this year.”